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Featured Social Financier: Rashi Foundation in Israel

The Rashi Foundation is an independent, private philanthropic foundation dedicated to assisting the underprivileged in Israel, particularly children and youth. They focus on the geographic and social periphery and on education and welfare solutions that create opportunities and advance social mobility.

The Foundation was established by Gustave Leven (1914-2008), a French-Jewish businessman who came from a family strongly ingrained in philanthropic tradition and culture, and whose experience during WW2 was a key factor in his focusing on Israel.

We have been working since 1984 to realize Gustave's vision of a stable and prosperous Israel that draws its strength from a society in which every individual has an equal opportunity to realize his or her full potential.


After starting out as a typical grant-making foundation, Rashi has gradually evolved into a social entrepreneur that identifies needs and responds by initiating and building innovative education and welfare solutions.

In the next stage, they developed a unique form of venture philanthropy further by going into direct operation of programs through affiliate associations, and by creating an extensive network of partnerships with other philanthropies, as well as with government agencies. This approach allowed us to increase greatly the scope of our work while remaining highly attuned to the field and responsive to its needs.


SOCIAL IMPACT BONDS


Aiming to advance the field of impact investments in Israel, and social impact bonds in particular, a joint initiative with Social Finance Israel is carrying out feasibility studies to identify social issues that can be addressed through the SIB model. In addition to facilitating the development of innovative solutions, the initiative can pave the road for more players to join in. SFI will develop the bonds for issues that are found to be suitable and will manage their implementation.


In view of the alarming statistic regarding the high poverty rate among single-parent families in Israel, the first feasibility study deals with this issue. Specifically, the study focuses on the 17,000 families who get an alimony allowance from the National Insurance Institute, and represent the most deprived single-parent families. To improve their situation, the intervention will be designed to remove obstacles to gainful employment and improve the earning capacity of the mothers.

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